I found myself in a situation I hadn’t been trapped in since my sophomore year. All around me, hundreds of people were screaming, immersing me in their infernal racket from all directions.
I was in the Leesville Road cafeteria, a common hangout destination for freshmen.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t confident enough to brave the wilds of the cafeteria myself, so I convinced Kelly Williamson, friend and fellow senior, to join me.
At first she declined the charitable invitation, until an incident resulted in the revocation of her lunch pass.
Immediately I noted the sheer diversity of our surroundings. The cafeteria was truly a representation of the Great American Melting Pot; this freshman class was vast.
I decided to delve deeper into the freshmen society than I ever had before. Taking a deep breath, I wandered into the pit.
As soon as I descended the three steps into my own personal nightmare, I was met by the frenzied screeches of my infantile inferiors.
A critter began beating his chest, as if filled with the strength of a gorilla. The freshmen were truly terrifying.
Most students would be deterred by this screaming display of animal savagery, but I am not most students.
I confronted a table of buck-toothed, braces-wielding children and took a solemn seat, while Williamson, editor-in-chief, was in line purchasing my soft cookies for me.
“Why do you eat here?” I asked the chubby-cheeked freshman.
“I don’t know… What else am I supposed to do? This is the only place I’m allowed to eat,” he said plainly.
Suddenly, it all came flooding back to me. The days before facial hair, maturity driving, and having a choice of where to eat. The days where high school still had that “new new” feel to it. The days where we boldly sat, full of innocence amongst the clamor of the cafeteria, exploring the brave new world set before us.
I recalled that freshmen cannot help their immaturity and innocence; they are bound to these things by rules and guidelines they are forced to abide.
For the first time in my two months following freshmen amongst the wilds of Leesville, I truly remembered what it felt like to embrace my childhood, to acknowledge that I too was once a freshman. I reminisced back to the ages of sitting atop the highest point of the football stands, the era of World History and English I.
In the rest of my travels amongst freshmen, I would encounter their society with an entirely different mindset.
After my epiphany, I got up and wandered over to Williamson, ex-girlfriend.“Here’s your cookies,” she said.
As I bit into the warm chocolate chips, I noted that everything tastes better with a sense of understanding.